We’ve exploited and exhausted all the resources of our planet, turned the atmosphere toxic with our waste, and now we torture ourselves with fear, denial and self-reproach. Messing with the processes of life, conquering microbes . . . were we not mad to try to rise above, even defy, nature?
“Is there any reason to expect,” asks Charles C. Mann, “that homo sapiens, unlike mussels, snakes and moths, can exempt itself from the natural fate of all successful species?”
But perhaps that same thing which has led us to our downfall remains our only hope – perhaps we haven’t yet used our minds for what nature has made them. Maybe we’ve only been animals up til this point … feeding, fighting and fucking. Now, teetering at the brink, can we finally live up to our metaphysical disposition, can we finally use our self-consciousness to reflect on the state we are in and act wisely? At this stage in our evolution, can we not overcome our base instincts – foreswear short-term gratification for the sake of survival?
As we realize that the only way to save ourselves is to do the most unnatural thing for any living being to do – something no other species has done nor could ever do – stop our growth.